What prompted Moshe to ask to see Hashem's Kavod - which had no connection with the current situation?
Rashi: When he saw that it was a time of goodwill, that his requests were being accepted, he took advantage of Hashem's benevolence and asked for that, too.
He would not have dared to ask to benefit from the glory of the Shechinah - as we find by the Burning Bush (Shemos, 3:6), where the Torah praises him for hiding his face and declining to look at the Shechinah (Rashbam). The Rashbam does not seem to explain Hashem's refusal to show Moshe His Face. Refer to 33:23:2:2.
What exactly, did Moshe want Hashem to show him?
Rashi, Ramban, Targum Onkelos and Targum Yonasan: He wanted to see the Shechinah in all its glory. 1
Rashbam Refer to 33:18:1:2.
Seforno: He asked Hashem to show him how He bestows existence upon all His creations from His own Existence, in spite of the huge gap between Hashem and His creations.
With a clear vision (Ispaklarya ha'Me'irah [Ramban]).